Today was cows in the road and kill lots of butterflies day. Waking up to the sound of native birds is starting to become routine. After breakfast I had a chat with a grey old english guy who had a tent set up near by. He used to have a camper but it was getting on a bit so he’d downsized to a tent but also used solar power to keep his esky cool. He had some suggestions for my van which he kept thinking I owned. I too had some suggestions for it myself after checking out some of the competition at the other caravan parks. Apart from the britz which were more top of the line and carried more people, the other competitors were hippy campers and juicy vans. I didn.t get to check out any juicys but the hippy campers were much better equipped than mine. For a start they slept on beds with springs instead of wooden boards and foam, while their kitchen had actual drawers and a powered fridge. I think even their table inside the van was better. I’ll have to check out how much they cost and where they got them from.
I finally washed my hair today which will gross you out, but I found that with all the sea swimming and pool swimming I did there wasn’t any need to. Admittedly it smells much nicer and feels much softer now. Leaving the caravan park after my shower I headed further up the road to visit the dam, stopping in at the other caravan park to pick up some ice for the esky. I’d kept everything in the camp kitchen fridge overnight since they didn’t sell ice but I needed some now. That caravan site is more set up for keeping you occupied, with a cafe, golf, fishing and internet all on offer. It was closer to the dam so it was better for the fisherman but I’m glad I stayed where I did because it seemed more pure somehow. The dam was not very deep, the park near it was pretty and it looked like most other dams in Australia.
On the way to and from the dam I encoutered cows on the road. They were shuffling themselves over to another paddock with their calves who freaked out about my car while the bull decided to just walk out in front of me to show who really was the boss. I had a fun time with the cows watching them but couldn’t stay long since I had maybe my longest drive of the holiday ahead. Filled up in Monto since I was operating on not letting the fuel get below halfway and cleaned my windscreen for the first time. Tried to ring Pauline before I left but could only leave a message on the machine saying I was alive. Left Monto for Gayndah.
Drove for what seemed like ages with only butterflies for company. They were everywhere which is a good thing since it means that the area here is healthy, however I have to say I left a few corpses in my wake when they couldn’t fly over the slipstream of my vehicle. The worst death was one that hit the windscreen and then got caught in the wipers. In an effort to remove it all I managed to do was spread it’s guts all over the nice clean windscreen. Coming a close second was the couple mating who were apart just long enough for one of them to die in the top right hand part of my windscreen. All I could imagine was the other buttefly in the heat of passion going “where did he go?” Needless to say I felt pretty guilty.
Stopping in Eidsvold for a coffee I only managed fo find an ice break. It’s a well cared for town with a nice little park and public pool. I cleaned the dead butterflies off the windscreen while leaving using a stinky wiper in a petrol station then kept going. Next town was Munduberra which is the citrus capital of Queensland and has a huge mandarin to prove it. I only stopped in the town long enough to chat with Pauline, take a photo of the mandarin and also some old rail carriages.
In Gayndah, Queensland’s oldest town, I had a prime beef burger. I used to have a theory that all burgers in country towns are great, but this one failed because it didn’t subscribe to the less is more mentality. It was nice enough all right, but having beef, bacon, egg, cooked mushrooms, tomato, lettuce, cucumber and sauce on it was just too much. I bought an orange from the IGA since Gayndah is the home of the big orange and then pressed on.
The drive from Gayndah to Murgon was really nice compared to the driving I’d done earlier in the day. I guess because it was less straight and had more houses and things to look at made it less dreary. It was a little weird driving through the outback listening to rap music but I was working my way through my never played playlist. I guess it wasn’t as weird as when i was listening to Erasure in the heart of man’s man country near Gladstone.
Murgon was bigger than expected. I’d always wanted ot visit ever since my dad’s driver in the early 90s told me he was from there and it sounded mysterious. It may sound posh to say my Dad had a driver but really it’s because he was banned due to drink driving and as a real estate agent can’t really do his job without a car. I stopped in at the information centre but with clouds on the horizon and nothing much for me to do in town I kept heading for Kingaroy.
Stopped in Wondai to look at the town and take a picture of a cool silver wood chopping man. In the distance I could see a bronze statue of a drover with cattle so I went and took a picture of that too. Even though I had just been to an information centre 15 minutes ago I decided to go in to the Wondai one since it looked fancy and was glad I did. They had a huge display of wood and even had a wood camp display with the trunk of the tree and some mannequins. The lady was very friendly but I was there just to be a busy body. If you are ever in the area and have an appreciation for wood check it out.
Kingaroy wasn’t too long a drive after that stop and it was the first town since Gladstone that I’d been to that had traffic lights. In fact I think it has more. Yet again I visited an information centre looking for a toy for Chris’s monitor. I was looking for some sort of peanut man but there was nothing but the usual shit. I gave up and drove slowly through town to the caravan park I was going to stay at. I could have stayed at the showgrounds but since my camp cooker doesn’t work I needed a camp kitchen. I got a spot under some trees and set up camp – charging my iphone was first duty. Finished the third book on the trip and watched as the rain loomed. Decided on an early dinner at 5.30pm since the rain was coming so ate my cup of noodles then headed back to the van. Holed up in the van for the rest of the night waiting for the rains that finally came. There was thunder and lightening but no real heavy rain. It was enough though to keep me awake longer than normal, but I think that also had something to do with the three cups of coffee I’d had earlier in the day. Basically just spent the time twittering and reading my book. It was my last night solo since I plan to pick up Pauline and camp at the Gold Coast for my last night with the van.
Map of Destinations: